Thursday, January 01, 2015

The Sarah Snow Rose

One of the few things I learned last year -- blogwise, I mean -- is that there's a hell of a lot of murals around Portland, once you start looking for them. There are enough of them that you start noticing distinct subgenres. One of the more distinctive subgenres is the collection of rose murals painted on office buildings around the metro area. These are the brainchild of local real estate magnate Joe Weston; apparently he just really likes roses, and has them painted on buildings he owns. Each rose comes with a caption dedicating it to a friend or family member, and sometimes the design includes a US flag too. You quickly realize they're all over the city, once you start looking for them. I think they just don't get a lot of attention because of their unhip subject matter, usually combined with unhip locations.

The Sarah Snow Rose covers the north side of the otherwise nondescript Capitol Plaza building on sorta-suburban SW Barbur a bit north of the big Capitol Highway / Taylors Ferry / I-5 interchange. (Note the door in the photos for scale.) I'm pretty sure this entire area qualifies as an unhip location. A 2008 Tribune article about the rose murals notes that Sarah Snow was Weston's former secretary.

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